he transported prohibited technologies to his homeland

he transported prohibited technologies to his homeland

Russian citizen Maxim Marchenko was arrested in New York. The investigation suggests that he participated in a scheme to illegally acquire American dual-use microelectronics (including military) and sent them to Russia, where the sale of such technology is prohibited after the country invaded Ukraine.

Marchenko was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, smuggling, wire fraud and money laundering.

Marchenko and his associates allegedly used shell companies in several countries around the world and other deceptive measures to purchase microelectronics from the United States, which are used in, among other things, optical sights, night vision devices, thermal imaging optics and weapons. This equipment was then transferred to Russia.

The indictment states that Russian citizen Maxim Marchenko lived in Hong Kong and operated several shell companies there: Alice Components Co. Ltd. (“Alice Components”), Neway Technologies Limited (“Neway”) and RG Solutions Limited (“Alice Components”), Neway Technologies Limited (“Neway”) and RG Solutions Limited (“RG Solutions”).

Marchenko and two of his accomplices, also Russian citizens (in the case they are named SS-1 and SS-2), managed a network of illegal purchases in Russia, Hong Kong and other countries. This network fraudulently obtained from American distributors large quantities of dual-use or military-grade microelectronics, in particular OLED microdisplays, and then transferred them to Russia. To carry out this scheme, MARCHENKO, CC-1 and CC-2 used Hong Kong-based shell companies and other means of deception to conceal from US government agencies and US distributors that the OLED microdisplays were destined for Russia.

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The participants in the conspiracy acquired microelectronics by falsely informing American distributors (who, in turn, were required to inform American government agencies) that the end consumers of the products were based in China, Hong Kong and other countries (not Russia). They argued that the optics they were purchasing were needed by customers for use in electron microscopes for medical research. In fact, OLED microdisplays were intended for end users in Russia, who used them for military purposes. OLED microdisplays were transported to Russia through a number of other countries to hide their final destination. Payment for goods was made through shell companies in Hong Kong.

In total, from May 2022 to August 2023, Marchenko’s front companies purchased microdisplays worth more than $1.6 million from the United States.

If convicted, Marchenko faces up to 25 years in prison.

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